Norms of intentionality: norms that don't guide

Philosophical Studies 157 (1):1-25 (2012)
More than ever, it is in vogue to argue that no norms either play a role in or directly follow from the theory of mental content. In this paper, I present an intuitive theory of intentionality (including a theory of mental content) on which norms are constitutive of the intentional properties of attitude and content in order to show that this trend is misguided. Although this theory of intentionality—the teleological theory of intentional representation—does involve a commitment to representational norms, these norms are not problematic in the way critics have suggested they would be. In particular, these norms do not guide thinking by motivating intentional agents to (intentionally) accord with them; as a result, no obvious vicious regress threatens the theory. In the final section of this paper, I argue that accepting this teleological theory of intentionality need not commit one to thinking that intentionality is the product of natural selection
Keywords Intentionality  Mental content  Normativity  Teleology
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9610-4
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Pascal Engel (2013). Doxastic Correctness. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):199-216.
Benjamin Jarvis (2012). Book Symposium:Truth as One and Many. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (1):105-114.

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